ARC Manufacturing Ltd spared no expense in feting customers and distinguished guests with a swanky affair on Friday, October 13. The company, which has been a Design Week collaborator since its inception, hosted the penultimate event of the Design Week Ja 2023 series in fine form, treating guests to an afternoon of decadent catering, cocktails and mellow vibes.
It was the perfect end to a steamy week and a groovy start to the weekend. The event started with cocktails and conversation, inviting guests to network and relax before the start of the programme. CPJ provided a well-stocked bar, and DJ Chin Movements, an events production outfit, filled the spacious venue with all the right grooves.
The warehouse at 14 Bell Road, where the event took place, is relatively new and part of ARC Manufacturing’s move to modernise and expand its retail space.
Novlet Green, general manager of corporate affairs and governance at ARC Manufacturing, delivered the welcome ahead of blessings and prayer from Reverend Dr Stevenson Samuels. The company’s Executive Chairman Norman Horne was up next to deliver the main address.
In his speech, Horne told the story of how the company’s venture into the business-to-consumer retail space was at the behest of then Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, who was adamant that the company should not only be serving other businesses but her constituents as well. However, this is not the only way the company aims to serve its community.
According to Horne, “Employees are concerned about inflation. Prices are rising, and the major complaint is that salaries are not rising in tandem with prices. We adopted a philosophy here that we want to pay a fair wage for a fair day’s work, and so far, we have continued this practice, which has resulted in one of the highest blue-collar and white-collar employee salary packages in this industry.”
Horne, who has led the company for its 27 years of operation, went on to declare that ARC Manufacturing was fully invested in Jamaica. He also shared the company’s current expansion plan as well as his vision for the company and its role in the Jamaican manufacturing and distribution industry.
“Currently, we have the only treatment plant in Jamaica. For some time, we were the only nail manufacturer on the island. We have been the first in a lot of areas, so we are hoping to become the leaders in bringing other sectors to Jamaica, and we welcome other companies to join in,” he noted, adding that the competition would be good for the country, as well.
ARC Manufacturing is one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of premium-quality building materials in Jamaica. The company has also begun to expand its offerings and hopes to continue on this trend.
“For us, Design Week is an opportunity to share with the public how a company like ours — that is in the manufacturing side of things — interfaces with design in Jamaica. Most people will hear design and think fashion, and so on, but, for us, it goes beyond that. We do offer some products in the interior design space, and we’re looking to expand our product offering in that space, as well,” Horne said.
Apart from extending its product offering, Horne also revealed plans to open the new retail space on 14 Bell Road to interior designers and related businesses for a shared commercial experience.
After Design Week’s own Novia McDonald-Whyte gave her address on design conversations, patrons engaged in some light fun and games, with two winners walking away with goodies courtesy of ARC Manufacturing.
Closing statements were given by Neville Alexander, deputy general manager of manufacturing and property maintenance, and then, ending on a very high note, the company signed out with the Silver Birds Steel Orchestra. The performance was so good that one ARC Manufacturing employee couldn’t help but deliver an impromptu and admittedly well-executed dance performance.
The event presented the perfect setting for the company to engage with customers and provide a platform for networking. The catering experience, care of Mastered Meals by Whitley, juiced the palate for conversation, with everything from a colourful fruit and cheese display, a vegan option in the form of a spring roll served with pineapple mint chutney, and a dessert station offering strawberry panna cotta and double chocolate fudge gateau. The pasta station and the BBQ chicken satay were crowd favourites.
For the patrons, however, it was all about supporting ARC Manufacturing. One such patron, Mark Tucker of Northcoast Hardware and Supercentre, had nothing but high praises.
“The event was very informative. Design Week is something we need. I’m always here because I’m a big supporter of ARC Manufacturing. They feel like family. The customer service is great, and the prices don’t hurt, either. We started in 2008, and we’ve been growing with ARC over the years,” Tucker shared.
With all the excitement witnessed so far and, equally important, the dialogue and debate, Design Week Ja 2023 can proudly claim another successful season.
Published by The Jamaica Observer.